Political Climate
Nov 05, 2017
Scientific Critique of USGCRP’s 2017 Climate Science Special Report

The Climate Science Special Report, “volume one of the Fourth National Climate Assessment,” was released a few minutes ago. The entire report can be found here.

But in August the Trump administration disbanded the interagency committee that was working on the report.

Not sure why it was nevertheless released..probably the deep state at work. Here were my reactions to this report, from my earlier review of the draft back in August.

Scientific Critique of USGCRP’s 2017 Climate Science Special Report

The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is a joint program of 13 U.S. national government agencies charged with developing a program to “understand, assess, predict, and respond to” global climate change. It produces reports to Congress every four years titled “National Climate Assessment.” The three reports released to date have all exaggerated the amount of global warming, the human role in that warming, the negative impacts of the same, and the certainty of the science surrounding the causes and consequences of climate change. For example, a team of climate scientists led by Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute said of the Third National Climate Assessment:

“This National Assessment is much closer to pseudoscience than it is to science. It is as explanatory as Sigmund Freud.  It clearly believes that virtually everything in our society is tremendously dependent the surface temperature, and, because of that, we are headed towards certain and inescapable destruction, unless we take its advice and decarbonize our economy, pronto. Unfortunately, the Assessment can’t quite tell us how to accomplish that, because no one knows how.”

The latest (June 28) draft of the Fourth National Climate Assessment is similarly flawed. This brief critique makes ten points which track the content and organization of the assessment:

1.  The report is a legacy product of a political regime that captured and “weaponized” this government agency to advance its agenda, much as it did to the IRS, Justice Department, and other departments. The report was written by hold-overs from the Obama administration, and represents only the very biased and politicized perspective of a small clique of government scientists on a complex issue. 

2. The report fails to provide an objective and comprehensive review of the available literature. Contrary to media reports, the report was not made available to respected climate scientists for peer reviewed. Several scientists report that their requests for drafts were rejected. [Soon and Happer, others?] The final draft shows no evidence of being informed by the efforts of critics of the Obama administration’s legislative agenda or even a single reference to the multiple reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

3. The report relies on past reports by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which the Trump administration properly rejects. The report refers to the IPCC’s 2013 report as “rigorously-reviewed international assessments,” when in fact the IPCC is controversial, scandal-ridden, and its procedures fall far short of the requirements of the Data Quality Act.  [Why Scientists Disagree, pp. 38-44]

4.  The report’s most frequently quoted conclusion, “that it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century,” is only a restatement of the opinions of activists and advocates in the field of global warming, and not a statement about the underlying science, which remains incomplete and uncertain. This is the same flawed reasoning and semantic games as used by the IPCC to make the same statement. It is not a statement of scientific fact, but rather of “some experts’ opinions” without any basis in probability analysis or scientific forecasting. [InterAcademy Council Audit, p. 61ff]

5.  The report denies the existence of the “pause” in global warming during the past 18 years or longer, something even the IPCC admits. It cites manipulated and unreliable databases when superior databases are readily available, apparently in an effort to once again “hide the decline.”

6.  The report ignores at least 27 peer-reviewed articles saying climate sensitivity is lower than the amount assumed by IPCCC and EPA. Climate sensitivity is the amount of temperature change likely to result from a doubling of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere from pre-industrial times. If the climate is less sensitive to CO2 than we thought four years ago, this report ought to reflect that fact. [Cited in Monckton, Soon, Legates, and Briggs 2015; reproduced in Why Scientists Disagree pp 66-69]

7.  The report denies extensive evidence that weather is not becoming more extreme over time and physical evidence explaining why it will be less extreme in a warmer world. It recites Al Gore’s litany of extreme weather predictions even though IPCC and independent scholars have thoroughly debunked it. [Chapter 7 of CCR-II: Physical Science]

8.  The report repeats false claims about the loss of arctic sea ice - falsifying trends and causes and making false forecasts - in order to support its narrative of catastrophic man-made global warming. Arctic sea ice is not at historic low levels, it varies naturally due to known and unknown external forcings and internal variability, and it is not evidence of a human impact on climate. [Chapter 5 of CCR II: Physical Science]

9.  The report misrepresents scenarios and computer-based simulations of future climate conditions as scientific forecasts of future climate conditions, when in fact it is well known among scientists that future climates cannot be predicted. Prof. Scott Armstrong, the world’s leading authority on scientific forecasting, and coauthors have shown conclusively that the predictions made by the IPCC, EPA, and other government agencies are merely the opinions of some experts, not scientific forecasts, and cannot provide a reliable basis for public policy.

10.  The report misrepresents sea-level rise and changes in ocean pH levels, portraying both as dire catastrophes resulting from man-made global warming, when in fact there is considerable evidence that sea level has not accelerated from its historic rates and considerable evidence that higher pH levels have positive as well as adverse effects on ocean life. [Chapter 6 of CCR-II: Physical Science]

Joe

Joseph Bast
Chief Executive Officer
The Heartland Institute



Nov 02, 2017
Trump Vindicated: Now Even the UN Confirms That the Paris Climate Accord Was a Complete Waste

James Delingpole

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The United Nations has officially confirmed what many of us, including President Trump, knew already: the Paris climate accord was a complete waste of space.

As UN Environment admits in its latest Emissions Shortfall report, even when you add up all the CO2 reduction pledges made by all the signatory nations at Paris, it still comes to only a third of what is supposedly necessary to stop the world warming by more than 2 degrees C by the end of this century.

According to UN Environment’s head Eric Solheim, the world is heading for disaster:

“One year after the Paris Agreement entered into force, we still find ourselves in a situation where we are not doing nearly enough to save hundreds of millions of people from a miserable future. Governments, the private sector and civil society must bridge this catastrophic climate gap.”

Another way of looking at it, though, is that President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord is now fully vindicated. Had the Agreement been ratified, the U.S. would have handed countries like China and India a huge competitive advantage over the American economy. But - as even the UN now admits - it would have made no discernible difference to the alleged problem of “global warming.” So what, exactly would have been the point?

Here is a pretty graph prepared by the BBC that gives an idea of this “catastrophic” emissions reduction shortfall:

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The so-called ‘Paris gap’ is just a figment of the UN’s/BBC’s imagination. It gives the false impression that all those carbon reduction promises (known as INDCs: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) made by the various signatory nations in Paris are going to make a difference.

In fact, as Skeptical Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg calculated at the time, they dont amount to a hill of beans.

If - extremely unlikely though it is - the Paris signatories stick to their INDCs then it may reduce the world’s temperatures by the end of the century by 0.170 degrees C.

That, remember, is the optimistic scenario.

The pessimistic scenario is that will avert a mere 0.048 degrees C of warming.

Or not: let’s not forget that the margins of error in these calculations are significantly larger than these fractions of one degree.

A little understood point of the UN Paris agreement is that it left countries like India and China to increase their CO2 emissions even as the U.S. was forced to rein in its own emissions by adopting more expensive, inefficient, ‘bat-chomping, bird-slicing clean’ energy. That’s why India and China signed: they’re not stupid. It would have given them an enormous competitive advantage over the U.S.

This graph shows how toothless the Paris agreement was:

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See: despite all the airy good intentions expressed in Paris, the countries of the world have no desire to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions just to appease a Green Goddess no serious person genuinely believes in.

But then, saving the planet was never the point of Paris. Rather it was, as Rupert Darwall describes in his excellent new book Green Tyranny, a scheme designed permanently to weaken the U.S. by forcing it to operate on the same constricting terms that the environmental left has imposed on Europe. Liberty-loving, free (-ish) market, democrat America is anathema to the eco-fascists and their many sympathizers within the European Union.

That’s why, had Hillary been elected and Obama’s dirty plan to sign up to Paris without Senate approval been fulfilled, it would have been game over for America’s status as the Land of the Free.

Enviro-activist billionaire Tom Steyer described Trump’s decision to pull out of Paris as “a traitorous act of war against the American people.”

Funny way of describing a decision which: lowered energy bills; created real jobs (as opposed to subsidized Potemkin jobs like the ones in the wind and solar industries); reduced the cost of living; boosted economic growth; freed Americans from the shackles of the kind of bureaucratic, technocratic, communitarian tyranny which now applies across the EU.

As Darwall notes:

The United States is now the world’s hydrocarbon superpower. Thanks to fracking it has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the world’s top energy producer. This abundance of hydrocarbon energy made the United States the biggest loser from the Paris Agreement. Quitting Paris turns the United States into the biggest winner from Paris. Access to cheap energy gives American businesses and workers a colossal competitive advantage in world markets as other nations increasingly burden themselves with high-cost, unreliable wind and solar energy.

We’ll come back to this. It’s important. Unless you’ve understood that global warming is - and always was - just a pretext for an economic takeover by the globalist left, you really haven’t understood the problem.



Oct 23, 2017
NRDC latest advocacy group to present the big lie for media consumption

NRDC REPORT TO SHOW HUGE NUMBER OF AMERICANS ARE SUFFERING THROUGH TOLL OF EXTREME HEAT DAYS

Experts to Outline Major Toll on Health; Worst-Off States Include AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, HI, KS, MA, MT, NV, NH, NC, OR, RI, TN, UT, WA & WY

WASHINGTON, D.C. NEWS ADVISORY - Yes, it is getting hotter out there.  A new analysis to be released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Tuesday (October 24th) will show that a large share of Americans are now suffering due to more dangerous high heat days.  NRDC’s interactive map analysis will show a greater-than-expected number of extremely hot summer days today than there were just a few decades ago, which can intensify a range of serious public health risks.

Some of the hardest-hit states include (in alphabetical order): Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Washington State and Wyoming. The report will detail the percentage of each state’s population which lives in areas experiencing more than nine additional extreme days of heat a year.

NRDC will release the new report during a telephone-based news conference on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/11 a.m. PT.

Speakers will include:

* Dr. Kim Knowlton, senior scientist and deputy director, Science Center, Natural Resources Defense Council;
* Dr. Linda Rudolph, MPH, director, Center for Climate Change and Health, Public Health Institute; and
* Dr. Samantha Ahdoot, assistant professor of Pediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and pediatrician with Pediatric Associates of Alexandria, Virginia.

TO PARTICIPATE:  Reporters can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/11 a.m. PT on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, by dialing 1 (877) 418-4267. Ask for the “NRDC Extreme Heat Report” news event.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Max Karlin, (703) 276-3255 or mkarlin@hastingsgroup.com.

Please feel free to call and challenge. To help you, here are the true facts.

CLAIM: HEAT WAVES ARE INCREASING

UPDATE: See Tony Heller’s analysis here.

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There has been no increase in heat waves in the United States or elsewhere in the world, but you would never know it if you pay attention to environmental advocacy groups like NRDC and the full-time media which hypes every little hot spell for ratings and to support their ideological agenda.

Most all-time record highs here in the U.S. happened many years ago, long before man-kind was using much fossil fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency Heat Wave Index confirms the 1930s as the hottest decade. James Hansen while at NASA in 1999 said about the U.S. temperature record “In the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934”. Thirty-eight states set their all-time record highs before 1960. Here in the United States, the number of 100F, 95F and 90F days per year has been steadily declining since the 1930s.

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Christy 2017 Enlarged

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EPA Heat Wave Index (Kunkel 2016) Enlarged

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Source: NOAA USHN Heller Enlarged

There has been no increase in heat waves in the United States or elsewhere in the world, but you would never know it if you pay attention to environmental advocacy groups like NRDC and the fulltime media which hypes every little hot spell for ratings and to support their ideological agenda.

Most all-time record highs here in the U.S. happened many years ago, long before man-kind was using much fossil fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency Heat Wave Index confirms the 1930s as the hottest decade. James Hansen while at NASA in 1999 said about the U.S. temperature record “In the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934”. Thirty-eight states set their all-time record highs before 1960. Here in the United States, the number of 100F, 95F and 90F days per year has been steadily declining since the 1930s.

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Christy 2017 Enlarged

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EPA Heat Wave Index (Kunkel 2016) Enlarged

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Source: NOAA USHN Heller

Many major cities show cyclical patterns but with the warmth greatest in the 1930s to 1950s.

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NOAA NCEI data show the average summer maximum temperatures in the Corn and Bean Belt peaked in the 1930s.

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Iowa State University did a study of 90F days in the growing areas of the Midwest, comparing the three decades 1981 to 2010 to the prior three decades 1951 to 1980. They found in most areas of the heartland there was a decline, as many as 14 days. 

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The original USHCN annual temperature plot in 1999 showed a cyclical change in temperatures but with no warming trend. it had the 1930s as the warmest decade and 1934 the warmest year (in the words of James Hansen). The original reply was a disclaimer on the GISS site (US is just 2% of the world).

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This was an Inconvenient truth when compared to global temperatures which looked like the desired hockey stick matching CO2.

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The NOAA solution was to remove the UHI and make other adjustments like homogenization to play whack-a-mole with what Wigley and others referred to as the ‘bothersome warm blip’ around 1940.

Despite the lack of real heat, government agencies have made changes to the weather records in recent years to be able to declare months and years among the warmest in the record, which are not at all supported by the un-manipulated data. The government agencies who managed these changes were on a politically driven mission to further the climate change frenzy and funding.

When challenged on the declining heat records in the U.S, the old reply that the U.S. is just 2% of the world reappeared.  However, perversely, all 8 continents recorded their all-time record highs before 1980.  Believe it or not, when I was challenged with the US is 2% of the world w/r to warming, and I presented this global fact, i was accused of cherry picking. You can’t win an argument with zealots.

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Interestingly while the media gives a great deal of coverage to even minor heat waves to support the case that man-made global warming is occurring, the media tends to ignore deadly cold waves. But in actual fact worldwide cold kills 20 times as many people as heat. This is documented in the “Excess Winter Mortality” which shows that the number of deaths in the 4 coldest winter months is much higher than the other 8 months of the year. The USA death rate in January and February is more than 1000 deaths per day greater than in it is July and August.

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Clearly we don’t have a problem with increased Heat Waves because of Climate Change. We have an issue with a movement that has too much to lose to not perform in the media circus with models posing as data or corrupted data.

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Although well received and widely distributed, our recent press release and research paper hit a raw nerve with alarmists. The research sought to validate the current estimates of Global Average Surface Temperatures (GAST) using the best available relevant data. The conclusive findings were that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, which removed their cyclical temperature patterns, is totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.

Thus, despite current claims of record setting warming, it is impossible to conclude from the NOAA, NASA and UK Hadley CRU GAST data sets that recent years have been the warmest ever.

Finally, since GAST data set validity is a necessary condition for EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding, it too is invalidated by these research findings. This means that EPA’s 2009 claim that CO2 is a pollutant has been decisively invalidated by this research.

We had shown in prior research reports here and here how even if you ignore the adjustments, the changes observed can be explained entirely by natural factors (ocean cycles, solar cycles and volcanism). If one considers the urban heat island contamination of surface date, the idea that temperatures may actually be declining since the 1930s in cyclical fashion, very much in line with record highs.

The media fact checkers, which serve often as enforcers of orthodoxy, could not meaningfully question the data or science presented but challenged the claim that it was ‘peer reviewed’ (in the sense the peer review process has been defined today by the ‘advocacy’ journals’ (really ‘pal review’wink.

Our research reports were rigorously peer reviewed by top scientists. The reports follow the approach long used in industry often for their own internal use. The reports were prepared by author teams with the requisite skills at proper data collection, a deep understanding of the scientific factors involved and statistical skills to evaluate what best explains the observed changes.

To abide by the scientific method, the work must be capable of being replicated. Our highly qualified reviewers who endorsed it are capable of evaluating the work scientifically and or statistically. They approval includes a willingness, even eagerness to endorse the work. The data and the methodology is available for others to replicate.

Our approach follows the long accepted application of the scientific method in a world where science is too politicized.



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